Monday, November 28, 2011

Reading List, Nov. 28

A weekly roundup of job-hunting tips, career advice and interesting articles relevant to the magazine industry and being an editor. 

"Women Journalists Confront Harassment, Sexism When Using Social Media" by Jeff Sonderman on Poynter. Ladies, you don't need to grin and bear those nasty, or even slightly uncomfortable comments left on your online work. Take action.

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks by Bethany Keeley. Check out the sidebar for additional amusing blogs.

"How Do You Deal With Having to Fire Someone?" by Alison Green on Ask a Manager. Getting fired is no fun, but neither is having to fire someone, and there's usually a lot less advice about it. Here's a little.

"Famous Magazines' First Covers" by Judy Berman on Flavorwire.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Editor Profile: Dick Snyder, Totem & CityBites


WHO: Dick Snyder, editorial director, Totem; president, CityBites Media Inc.; editor, CityBites; freelancer.
WENT TO SCHOOL FOR: Jazz Guitar Performance, Concordia University; Journalism, Ryerson University
Summer intern (“Paid, thankfully.”), Saint John Evening Times Globe. “I was a general assignment reporter covering the city and region, everything from City Hall to a performance of The Polka Dot Door at the local theater. This was a fantastic job, because the prime mandate was to fill pages. There were three of us Toronto-based recent grads, all churning out anywhere from two to five stories a day. Battling for the front page!”
Editor, The Eyeopener. “Before the final school year was out, I ran for editor of Ryerson’s independent student newspaper. This was to be a cushion in case I wasn’t offered to stay on at the Times Globe. In fact, I was offered a permanent job, which left me the decision: Do I stay in Saint John and work my way up through a small newspaper, or do I go back to Toronto, work at The Eyeopener, and work on obtaining my dream job — a summer internship at The Globe and Mail. I rang Colin McKenzie, who was then deputy editor at the Globe to ask his advice. He said come back to Toronto, work like hell, and apply for the Globe’s summer internship.”
Summer intern, The Globe and Mail. “A coveted position on the Globe’s summer intern squad! I started as a copy editor on the foreign news desk. Then, I was a copy editor on the ‘universal desk,’ where a pool of copy editors dealt with copy from all departments. Then I was taught layout on the arcane proprietary layout system, and did layout for foreign and local news, and occasionally the front page. At the end of the summer, I was offered the only full-time job available for summer interns. Lesson: make yourself indispensable by learning every skill imaginable, with enthusiasm.” 
“Just an observation on editing and media: When I joined Totem (which was called Redwood at the time, back in 1999), branded or custom content were dirty words. But I’m proud to work with a company that pioneered and defined branded content, which we now see all around us, especially in new media platforms. There used to be a great divide between conventional journalists and the term we coined at Totem, “marketing journalists.” I always considered these two disciplines as two sides of the same coin. Marketing journalism isn’t that different from the kind of service journalism we learned in school, and put in practice in the lifestyle sections of conventional magazines and newspapers. Now, service journalism is everywhere, to wildly divergent standards of quality, mind you. The modern editor and journalist needs to be able to function in so many arenas, from print and digital media, to conventional and branded vehicles, to social and sharing tools. The ‘equipment’ of journalism is changing and will keep changing, but the basic skill sets remain. Tell a great story, make it riveting, package it up nice and never forget about your reader. The reader is the most important person, even more important than the editor.”

Monday, November 21, 2011

Reading List, Nov. 21

A weekly roundup of job-hunting tips, career advice and interesting articles relevant to the magazine industry and being an editor.

"Make a Great Resume First Impression: 6 Best Tips" by Sheryl Coonan on YouTern's The Savvy Intern blog. It takes only seconds for an editor to toss your resumé in the No pile; these tricks will reduce the likelihood that that will happen.

"5 Keys to Successful Informational Interviews" by Tim Tyrell-Smith on Tim's Strategy. Informational interviews are a valuable job-serch and networking tool. Before asking for one, read this piece.

"Manners Matter" by Meg Montford on Abilities Enhanced. Think sending thank you notes is old-school? That's why they get you noticed. This piece shares seven points in your job hunt when sending thanks is a good idea.

My Favourite Magazine series on SPD. Art and photo directors talk about, well, their favourite magazines.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday, November 07, 2011

Reading List, Nov. 7

A weekly roundup of job-hunting tips, career advice and interesting articles relevant to the magazine industry and being an editor.

• "The Alot is Better Than You at Everything" by Allie on Hyperbole and a Half. Funny grammar stuff for all you grammar nerds (who I'm assuming is all of you who read this blog).

"Ten Career Lessons from the Top of the Masthead" by Victoria Pynchon on Forbes. Advice culled from the life of Jill Abramson, the first woman executive editor of the New York Times.

"How International Students Can Land U.S. Internships" by Gennifer Delman on Ed2010. Covers the basics of getting a visa.

"Is Your Resume a Mirror or a Window? Success in 3 Steps" by Mark Babbitt on YouTern's Savvy Intern blog. A decent exercise for improving your resumé.

"Advertising Companies Fret Over a Digital Talent Gap" by Tanzina Vega in the New York Times. It's not just in advertising; there's a lack of people with digital skills in magazines too. If your talent lies in this area, you could be in high demand.

"14 Punctuation Marks That You Never Knew Existed" by Jack Shepherd on BuzzFeed. Actually, you probably know a few of them.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Take Care of Your Relationship with Your Mentor

A friendly reminder: If you are fortunate enough to have a mentor in your life, don't forget to treat their time and advice as the gifts they are.
  • Always say thank you – then say it again. This person is giving you valuable information free of charge. He is volunteering his time. Even if it's not a big deal to him, it should be a big deal to you. Make sure your mentor knows that you appreciate it.
  • Don't demand too much from your mentor. We are all busy. Don't take up too much of your mentor's time and don't try to dictate the terms. Work around her schedule and be conscious of how much you are asking of her. 
A mentor's generosity can quickly turn sour if he starts to feel as if he's not appreciated or is being taken advantage of. If that happens, you'll lose the benefits that a mentor provides and a valuable champion for your career.